Scribbles By Maurie
It's not always easy to connect state education standards with curriculum and student needs, especially when the focus skill is writing. Writing is a difficult subject to grade well, and to assign well. Here's my take on a recent writing assignment that brings in SEL student needs, along with a seasonal twist, and of course - artwork!
NHere is my OAS standard posted with the artwork.
The objective of this center is to involve the students in a one on one conference about descriptive words about themselves. By the end of the exercise, I wanted students to frame the words they use to describe themselves and to begin to develop new ways that they can see themselves.
Over 200 descriptive terms, written on index cards were provided students and they were invited to find words that best described who they are, and who they want to be. Questions such as "What do you like most about yourself?: And, "What would you like to see MORE of in yourself?" NOTE: All words were positive descriptors: likeable, intellegent, fun, excited, etc.
Valentine's Day offers an opportunity to use visual images with words that make the exercise fun.
Students first chose their "hand" color and their arwork background color. They traced around their hands (some students with disabilities need more assistance with this, so small group work is important). Students then chose the color of their "heart". They were provided two cookie cutters that they could chose and trace around ONE. They cut out the heart, placing it behind one of the fingers.
Then, students were provided the word bank and engaged in conversation about how they describe themselves. This was a guided discussion but the choices were all their own to make -- I was careful to not over comment or under comment on their choices because what matters is how a student sees him and herself and I wanted to make sure they had that voice throughout the exercise. In short, this was not an exercise that was used to teach behavior but rather to better understand it.
The session was chunked into two sessions so that time with the word bank was given thoughtful consideration.